Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Chesapeake Bay Ecosystem Health Remains Poor, But Slightly Improved In 2007

Date:
April 7, 2008
Source:
University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Summary:
An independent scientific analysis gives the Chesapeake Bay (near Washington DC, US) a C-minus in 2007, indicating that Bay ecological conditions were slightly better than the previous year, but far below what is needed for a healthy bay.

Chesapeake Bay health was given a C- for 2007. While better than last year, the report card's C-minus grade shows Bay conditions far from optimal.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

An independent scientific analysis led by University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science researchers gives the Chesapeake Bay a C-minus in 2007, indicating that Bay ecological conditions were slightly better than the previous year, but far below what is needed for a healthy Bay.

Related Articles


"The Chesapeake Bay Health Report Card shows conditions slightly improved last year, but there is nothing here from which we can take great comfort," said University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science researcher and project leader Bill Dennison. "Data gathered from more than 150 monitoring sites throughout the Bay show us that the health of the Bay remains poor. We are not on the road to recovery."

Scientists note that the increase from a D-plus in 2006 to a C-minus in 2007 was highlighted by improved conditions in Maryland's Upper Western Shore (including the Gunpowder and Bush Rivers) and the Choptank River on the Eastern Shore. However, they also warn that those improvements may in part be due to the summer drought.

"The summer drought most certainly played a role in last year's health," said Dennison. "We had record low rainfall in many regions, which led to less nutrient and sediment pollution flowing into the Bay during the critical June to September timeframe."

The report card also allows scientists to compare conditions in various parts of the Bay over a number of years. This analysis provides insight into several important trends:

Overall, the annual amount of pollution reaching the Bay in 2007 was similar to average conditions observed over the last 17 years.

While scientists are optimistic about the resurgence of aquatic grasses in the Upper Bay, they remain concerned over recent losses in key nursery areas in the Lower Chesapeake.

Despite slightly clearer Bay waters in 2007, scientists remain concerned about the downward trajectory Bay water clarity has taken in many areas over past years. Cloudier waters hamper aquatic grasses and other life from thriving.

"These long term trends are disturbing. At best, we are only holding our own against population growth and development taking place throughout the Bay watershed," added Dennison.

"The scientifically-rigorous report card reinforces the notion that conditions across the bay vary from creek to creek and river to river," said University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science President Donald F. Boesch. "These local variations are a clarion call to Bay managers that targeting pollution reduction programs is critical to accelerating improvements in Bay health."

Data used in the Chesapeake Bay Health Report Card is collected across the entire Maryland and Virginia portions of the Chesapeake Bay by several state and federal agencies as part of the Chesapeake Bay monitoring program. Report card production is supported by Eco-Check, a NOAA-UMCES partnership.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. "Chesapeake Bay Ecosystem Health Remains Poor, But Slightly Improved In 2007." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 April 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080403125546.htm>.
University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. (2008, April 7). Chesapeake Bay Ecosystem Health Remains Poor, But Slightly Improved In 2007. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080403125546.htm
University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. "Chesapeake Bay Ecosystem Health Remains Poor, But Slightly Improved In 2007." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080403125546.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Tornado Rips Roofs in Washington State

Raw: Tornado Rips Roofs in Washington State

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A rare tornado ripped roofs off buildings, uprooted trees and shattered windows Thursday afternoon in the southwest Washington city of Longview, but there were no reports of injuries. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
E.U. Leaders Agree To 40% CO2 Emissions Cut By 2030

E.U. Leaders Agree To 40% CO2 Emissions Cut By 2030

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) The latest E.U. emissions deal calls for a 40 percent greenhouse gas cut, which leaders say sets Europe up to lead in climate negotiations next year. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins